Residents praised after food waste trial success

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Residents have recycled more than 175 tonnes of food scraps in the first three months of a trial scheme run by Portsmouth City Council.

During the six-month trial, people in selected areas are putting waste food into kitchen caddies. Instead of being incinerated and energy being recovered, the waste is recycled and turned into fuel and fertiliser.

There are over 8,000 households in the current food waste trial across Drayton, Cosham, Somerstown, Old Portsmouth, Portsea, Southsea, Eastney and Baffins. The six-month trial started on 16 September and over 175 tonnes of waste have been diverted to food waste recycling, meaning nearly 20 per cent of black bag refuse for the trial areas is now being recycled. We have seen around 60% of households in the trial areas taking part each week.

The success of the trial seen to date means options are being looked at to offer it to the whole city. A review of the trial will include a survey in the participating areas to help measure the success of the trial. A decision on whether to expand or roll out the scheme will be announced by the end of March 2020.

During the trial, Portsmouth's food waste is being transported in bulk to a plant in Bournemouth for treatment - it is converted into biogas and used to generate electricity, heat or transport fuels. It also creates a nutrient-rich digestate that can be used as a fertiliser for agriculture and in land regeneration.

If the decision is taken to extend food waste recycling to the whole city, the council will look at options that are available to reduce transporting waste in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change at Portsmouth City Council, says "These food waste trial results are fantastic. It is great to see the uptake in the trial with 175 tonnes of food waste sent to recycling. We are committed to do whatever we can to reduce waste and recycle more and the residents' commitment to recycling has been extremely positive. I am excited to see the results of the second half of the trial. Thanks to the Portsmouth communities for doing such a great job."

The trial builds on the success of other recycling efforts introduced in Portsmouth, including more recycling banks in the city and the introduction of wheelie bins which means the city is now recycling more than 700 tonnes a month.

Read more about the food waste trial.

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